Home renovation has taught me new found respect for tools. In college I’d reach for a butter knife to tighten a screw. Today I have a wall of screwdrivers and wrenches, each with its own specific function. Projects now are completed with a higher degree of ease and success.
In marketing, there are also many tools available to us with which to build a solid foundation of client trust, loyalty, engagement and interest. But how we use them is just as important as choosing which ones to use for our market and our message. It's a safe bet that Facebook is already one of those tools in your "garage" given that it now has 1.1 billion users and approximately 70% of the site's monthly active users in North America connect to a local business through it. (Source: Mashable)
Yet just having a Facebook business page and posting on it without a strategy and goal is like going to Home Depot and choosing a metric wrench then realizing your entire project is in inches. The two look similar, but in the end, it just won’t work.
The goal of marketing, generally speaking, is to increase exposure and get business. With Facebook, as with any other marketing tool, you only have one chance to take advantage of an offline connection when a client, or the media, comes calling. This is where mindful strategy and total follow-through are required yet aren’t always employed. In the following story, see if you can spot how many opportunities were squandered.
A reporter friend was looking for material for a national magazine article. It’s true what you may have heard -- media does look to Facebook for stories, and she found some great event shots on a Facebook business page. She immediately left a message on the page with all her information. With no response the following day and being on deadline, she called the phone number listed on the page. It turned out to be a wrong number, and there was no web site listed on the page. She used Google to find the web site and correct phone number.
Finally, she connected to someone at the company, but this person didn’t know about the Facebook post, or that event. She didn’t even know who at the company did their Facebook posts. Could the reporter call back when the owner would be in? The reporter left her number instead as she’d already tried harder to get in touch with these people more than ANY potential customer would. In the end she never connected to anyone at the company, and an opportunity to amplify their Facebook message and extend their story to 30,000 potential customers in the magazine was lost.
If you are cringing right now, you understand how many actionable opportunities this company missed and how easy a different outcome would have been. Not only could the company have simply taken the time to complete its profile page correctly, but it also needed to realize that the phone and the person answering it are keys to completing the equation.
Certainly Facebook is a crowded marketplace, but with 42% of marketers in 2012 reporting that it is important to their business, (source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012) you can’t afford to not take it seriously. Odds are fairly high that your competition is there which is why it’s so important to use Facebook marketing correctly, engage in meaningful dialogue with your audience and make sure that your efforts stand out from the crowd.
A Quick Look at Three Tools for Sharpening Your Facebook Page
- Cover Photos
As you can see above with the Trust Me page, the striking cover photo “shows” what the company is about with visuals that align with what you can expect to see on its Facebook page, and its web site. Additionally, when creating your cover photo, make sure you know and follow the most current Facebook Guidelines for cover photos.
- Tabs / Apps
Facebook pages come with four standard apps (or tabs): Photos, Likes, Events and Videos. Other third-party apps enable you to add custom graphics for promotions, contests and more as Social Media Examiner has. Some apps to check out are North Social (www.northsocial.com) and Heyo (www.heyo.com).
- Promoted Posts
Facebook has said that there are more than 2 billion connections between users and local businesses a day. Facebook Pages garner 645 million views and 13 million comments weekly. Yet, according to Facebook, the content on a Brand Page is only seen by 16% of the Page's fans. The company launched Promoted Posts in June 2012 so businesses could pay to reach more than this 16%.
Takeaways to Fuel
Your Facebook Efforts
- You only have ONE chance to connect when opportunity calls;
- Write out your end goals for the social media that is right for your market and message and share them with your entire team;
- Determine the actions you want to create (call you, join a contest, comment), apply it consistently to your Page, and educate and empower team members to monitor and/or act on them;
- Finally, don’t forget that the phone is still your most important social media tool!
Liese Gardner is a marketing expert working with top brands and individuals in the special events industry since 1984. Her company, Mecca Communications, has conceived and executed many creative, successful campaigns incorporating personalized branding, social media, community outreach, media interface, video marketing, web and blog design, and content curation. Personally, Liese enjoys fueling small businesses with stories of inspiring people who make it happen on her blog, Fuel:Passions That Drive Us.